The Irish Times - 10.01.2008
Bekele to face Zersenay Tadesse in Edinburgh on Saturday
Bekele and Tadesse face off at the BUPA Great Edinburgh International
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Athletics: Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele
will bid to land a record sixth IAAF World Cross Country Championship
title in Edinburgh on March 30th.
The Olympic and world 10,000 metres champion was expected to achieve
the record in Mombasa last year and opened up a lengthy gap in
stages of the race.
But he dramatically slowed and eventually dropped out because
of the intense heat and humidity at the Kenyan venue.
Bekele suffered after effects for several weeks following the
race but bounced back in the summer to win a third successive
world 10,000m gold
medal, defeating Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, who had claimed victory
Bekele, who has been back in intensive training since returning
from his honeymoon, is determined to better the five titles of
Kenyan pair John
Ngugi and Paul Tergat when he races in Edinburg
"I will definitely be competing at the world cross
country in Edinburgh this year," said Bekele. "I was deeply
disappointed at what happened in Mombasa and I am determined to get
the title back.
"Winning for a sixth time means very much to me and I feel the
conditions in Edinburgh will suit me much more than they did last year."
His decision to compete has delighted the International Association
of Athletics Federations, who believe Bekele's presence is very important
to the prestige of the championships.
"This is fantastic news. Despite his age, he's already one of the
world's greatest-ever distance runners," said Nick Davies, IAAF
Bekele will also be in Edinburgh on Saturday to defend the BUPA Great
Edinburgh international cross country title he has won for the last
He will face Tadese and 2005 champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya when he
bids to make it a hat-trick of Edinburgh titles at Holyrood House in
what is his only cross-country race this winter.
He is scheduled to compete over 3000m in Valencia on March 9th and then
over two miles at the Birmingham Grand Prix on February 16th.
The BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country - Event